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Jun 04, 2012, 09.16 AM IST
The Department of Telecom will finalise by July 10 the agency that will conduct the e-auction of spectrum in 22 telecom service areas, a delay of 15 days compared to the previous schedule.
This means a tight schedule for the DoT which has to complete the spectrum auction before August 31 as per a Supreme Court order.
With the new date for selection of auctioneer, the DoT will be left with roughly 45 days to finish the auction, according to a senior official.
The spectrum auction is vital for companies like Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Uninor and Videocon whose telecom licences have been cancelled by the apex court but they are still looking to continue their services with fresh permits.
The Supreme Court has given these companies permission to operate till September 7, after which it is a must for them to get spectrum through auction process.
For 3G and wireless broadband (BWA) spectrum in 2010, DoT had selected global consultancy firm NM Rothschild and Sons.
The auction for 3G spectrum was completed in 34 days after completion of 183 rounds of bidding and BWA spectrum auction took 16 days to end after 117 rounds of bidding.
After finalising auctioneer, the DoT will need time to finalise various terms of the auction and give time to telecom companies to seek clarification and legal opinion on clauses of auction among others, the official said.
The DoT had earlier sought more than four and a half months time between the date of finalising auctioneer and start of bids for spectrum.
The department will hold pre-bid conference with prospective auctioneer on June 12.
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